We remember exactly where we were on 24 February 2022. The Board of EFTA was gathered in Barcelona for its meeting. Just before sunrise, we were alarmed by the news that Putin had illegally invaded Ukraine. We could not know what would happen to the country or to Europe, and we still do not know. Now, entering the third year of this war, the tragedy seems stuck and negotiation for peace far away. Still, it is remarkable to see the Ukrainians remain in full fight.

Our thoughts go to all those suffering on both sides. We are devastated by the huge losses of human lives and the destruction of towns, cities, infrastructure, and nature. The psychological trauma and consequences for mental health to children and adults will influence generations to come.
As Europeans we must help in any way we can. We are ultimately helping ourselves to keep our freedom and democracy. We must fight the fear, isolation, pessimism, and ignorance that comes in the wake of war, and continuously mobilize the best of our human character. On a postive note, we are informed that at the end of last month, Ukrainian agricultural exports from its Black Sea ports had reached the highest level since when the war began – far exceeding what happened under Putin’s Black Sea Grain Initiative.

If the cruel death of the remarkable, brave, Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has taught us anything at all – it is that Putin’s victory is something that none of us can afford. All freedom loving countries must come together and strengthen our values.
This year will probably be make or break for Ukraine. It’s time for all civilized nations to step up and give Ukraine the backing it needs.

Hans Christian Michaelsen
EFTA Vice President

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Thoughts on war...

1. Reflection from Umberta Telfener : As Social Justice and Systemic Thinking Task Force we met the first time at the NFTO in Sofia in June 2023, we created a whatsup group and exchanged some “fast” thoughts wondering what to deal with. Too many issues seemed important and focus was needed. Then life took over but right now we decided to start meeting and discussing again regularly. These words are just some reflections on the too many terrible and unjustified wars we are surrounded by.

Few days ago a client of mine posed this question: “Are we more violent compared to Medieval times?” I was stunned since I was questioning myself about the horrors of war in a time of enhanced consciousness: why does a civilized country become violent and destroy others? How can individuals de-humanize and do things that are despicable and they would judge as horrendous in times of peace? I started searching ….

2. Answer from Borislava Metcheva : I read the article carefully and so many thoughts are racing through my head… I am struggling a lot with the idea how we can make sense of what is going on globally so that the way we make sense of it help us see a path forward…
Here are some of my thoughts:
First of all, I am thinking about “conscious purpose” (Bateson) – for how long as societies we were enchanted by this premise and for how long this narrative of “achievement-improvement-more achievement-more ambition-and so on” organized our behavior at large scale…

3. Thoughts by Cinthe Lemmens : I read  both of your contributions, Umberta and Borislava, my systemic colleagues, friends. How good is it not to feel alone, to belong to a large systemic community. Connectivity and exchange as an antidote to apathy, indifference, desensitization, numbness, hopelessness…
Reading your thoughts brings up new thoughts, memories.
It takes me back to the presentation of Lucie Hornova in Sofia, Bulgaria, our latest NFTO-meeting. She (and we) talked about hope and hopelessness, quoting K. Weingarten who says: ‘Hoping is not just a feeling or a noun, hope is also a verb that we can practice. We Do Hope.

4. Thoughts by Petya Varcheva: The written by Umberta and Borislava is strongly resonating in me. Following the flow I feel, I would like to share some of my associations and reflections
I’m also struggling with the question – how we, as humans, have created such a context in which this terrifying violence became possible and so many of us became passive bystanders, supporting with their silence or openly justifying people killing people…

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Hello to everybody, I am Umberta Telfener, the new President of EFTA.

I am very honored to have received this assignment which I personally care very much about.

I am in EFTA since 1991, first as an individual and from 2010 representing the Milan Institute of Family Therapy (Luigi Boscolo and Gianfranco Cecchin). I become a member of the TIC Board in 2016 and from November 2020 I was its Chair. Now I will act as your President and intend to do my very best.

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Dear members, We decided to upload the “Assisi Manifesto” to let you know what is the latest choral effort of clinicians around the world reflecting on our specific work as systemic practitioners. As I think you know by now I am not keen on bringing everything back to families: I think that systemic thinking obliges […]

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EFTA calls for immediate humanitarian help with food, water and adequate medical aid to the civilian victims of war.
We are witnessing an escalation of violence that is inhuman and full of rage and pain.

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ATTENTION, ATTENTION. Some hackers use very plausible emails to pretend to be me and ask you for help and money. This is a serious and frequent phenomenon.

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  • Encourage professionals, Training Institutes and National Federations you consider eligible to join. (Refer to the websites of the 3 Chambers for membership categories and criteria).
  • Promote EFTA to students and trainees, supporting them to apply for associate membership.